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Parliament Budget session Highlights: Azad targets govt on law and order after Amit Shah’s maiden speech

The Parliament convened for the fifth day for the budget session on Monday. BJP president Amit Shah delivered his maiden Rajya Sabha address. Here are the highlights.

india Updated: Feb 05, 2018 20:13 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Budget session,Parliament of India,Live updates
Leader of Opposition in the Rajya Sabha Ghulam Nabi Azad addresses the House.(Screenshot/ Rajya Sabha TV)

Both houses of Parliament convened on Monday, after finance minister Arun Jaitley presented the Union budget 2018-2019 on February 1.

The Lok Sabha was adjourned for the day owing to the death of Hukum Singh, a member from Uttar Pradesh’s Kairana.

In the Rajya Sabha, BJP national president Amit Shah, a first-time member, delivered his maiden speech in the house. Prime Minister Narendra Modi was also present in the house during the session. Shah attacked the Congress over its frequent slamming of the government over jobs and GST.

Leader of Opposition Ghulam Nabi Azad said the government was not a “game changer” but a “name changer government” which had failed to deliver on all fronts, be it providing relief to farmers and poor, generate jobs or addressing the Kashmir issue.

Here for the highlights:

8.06pm: Rajya Sabha adjourned till 11am, February 6, 2018.

6.45pm: TDP’s G Venkatesh raises the issue of allocation for Andhra Pradesh in Budget 2018. The party had earlier expressed displeasure over this.

6.30pm: CPI(M)’s MP from Tamil Nadu TK Rangarajan says Prime Minister Narendra Modi should have addressed the Cauvery water dispute during his rally in Karnataka.

6.15pm: TMC’s Sukhendu Shekhar Roy calls BJP a government of crony capitalism and raises the issue of farmer suicides.

He also says the government has not done anything to contain violence in the name ‘love jihad’.

6.01pm: The Rajya Sabha will sit till 8 pm. The House is currently debating the Motion of Thanks on the President’s Address.

5.41pm: AIADMK’s A Navaneethakrishnan speaks on exempting Tamil Nadu from NEET.

5.12pm: Samajwadi Party’s Naresh Agarwal refers to the dissent of the four Supreme Court judges and says “We must keep democracy alive.”

4.52pm: On triple talaq, Azad says, “You divided Shias and Sunnis, now you are dividing husband and wife. You put the husband in jail and tell the wife you have saved her.”

“We oppose triple talaq but we do not support criminalising it,” he says.

4.45pm: “Under this government, in a very short amount of time, there has been the highest number of ceasefire violations and soldier deaths,” Azad says.

He says the Opposition and all political parties stand with the government on Kashmir but the situation in the state is the worst it has been in 70 years.

4.38pm: Azad makes jibes at the government’s initiatives, “With ‘Start Up India’, nothing has started. ‘Stand Up India’ sat down before it could even stand. ‘Skill India’ was unsuccessful but ‘Kill India’ is working.”

The Congress leader says the BJP created a record for employment in 2017 by not creating a single job.

4.31pm: On the Budget, Azad says that for every scheme for which the government does not have answers, the target years is 2022. “Is this budget for four years?” he asks.

4.22pm: Azad jokes, “If there is a global tender for packaging and repackaging, the BJP will win it. We don’t even know how to package, let alone repackage.”

He says the government has spent Rs 550 crore on advertisements for schemes.

4.20pm: Azad targets the government over the law and order situation, “This city, this country has become so unsafe. What has the government done for the innocent children being raped? What is this ‘New India’?”

“When the Nirbhaya case happened, we were so sensitive, we immediately brought in a law,” he says.

Azad says that while the ‘Beti Bacchao Beti Padhaao’ scheme will spread to 600 districts from the earlier 161, the budget allocated for this has gone up from Rs 200 crore to Rs 280 crore only. It should have increased to Rs 800 crore, he says.

4.15pm: Azad says the government had promised 10 crore jobs, 2 crore every year, but there was no mention of it in Budget 2018.

He calls out the Centre for not passing on benefits from the fall in crude price to customers.

Quoting a UN report, Azad says that of the 50% toilets of targeted toilets constructed so far, only 35% are usable.

4.10pm: Azad targets price rise under BJP rule and says, “There used to be Bharat bandhs when the prices rose while our government was in power. Today, the price of the cylinder, which used to be Rs 350 during our rule, is over Rs 800. The price of grains, pulses and vegetables has risen by 300 times under the BJP.”

4.04pm: “Names of all the schemes launched under UPA governance after 1985 have been changed.” Azad says the BJP government is a not a game-changer, it is a name-changer. The Congress leader lists names of schemes that the government has changed since it came to power.

4.01pm: “We (UPA) are called the most corrupt government, but under the BJP govt, CBI judge has acquitted those charged in 2G spectrum scam,” says Azad.

3.52pm: Ghulam Nabi Azad speaks on the Motion of Thanks to President’s address. Azad jokes that he was surprised Amit Shah did not talk about Sardar Patel in his speech.

3.45pm: Sahasrabuddhe praises govt for bringing in innovative solutions.

3:32pm: It is easy to raise the slogan “Garibi hatao”. But to actually make it a reality is not, Sahasrabuddhe says in a dig at Congress.

3:30pm: The BJP MP slams opposition for taking digs at the government. “Someone said ‘Vikas has gone crazy’. But consider this, there’s a movie Padman that has just released. This is because the government has combined women upliftment with its policies,” Sahasrabuddhe says.

3:22pm: BJP MP from Maharashtra, Dr Vinay Sahasrabuddhe, begins speaking.

3:20pm: Rajya Sabha chairman Venkaiah Naidu says Amit Shah was given extra time to speak since it was his maiden speech.

3:18pm: Amit Shah concludes his speech.

3:17pm: There is no state where Congress has held power for 27 years, Shah says.

3:15pm: Referring to the state elections that have happened, Amit Shah says BJP has come to power in Gujarat, Himachal and Goa.

3:12pm: ‘Notebandi’ (demonetisation) brought black money, that was being routed through many countries, back to India: Amit Shah says.

3:11pm: Amit Shah says the government has become more transparent under Narendra Modi.

3:10pm: Shah talks about ISRO’s achievement of releasing 104 satellites in one go, saying the feat raised India’s stature in the digital age. Also talks about India’s particiapation at the World Economic Forum at Davos.

3:06pm: Direct benefit transfer (DBT) scheme has plugged a gap in the system, ensuring Rs 57,000 crore is directly benefitting citizens, says Shah.

3:03pm: Shah cites Beti Bachao Beto Padhao initiative to say the gender ratio in many states has improved. The drop out rate of girls in schools has also decreased, he adds.

3:02pm: Statements cause uproar. House chairman Naidu asks MPs to “effectively counter” during the designated time.

3:01pm: BJP chief raises issue of triple talaq now. Says when Modi raised the issue for the safety of Muslim women, the Congress blocked it.

2:58pm: The government has handled the Kashmir issue very well, Shah tells the Upper house.

2:57pm: Kashmir issue is very crucial for the country; the state has never been safer in the past 35 years, Shah says.

2:56pm: This showed that like US and Israel, India can take care of its soldiers. It changed how the world viewed India: Shah

2:54pm: Referring to the border tension with Pakistan, Shah says nobody gave the appropriate response. In Uri, soldiers were burned alive in their sleep, he says. But unlike others, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had the surgical strike carried out.

2:50pm: Amit Shah cites One Rank One Pension (OROP) as BJP-led NDA’s achievement. Says governments past never implemented OROP or sanction token amounst just before elections.

2:45pm: Shah says these ‘Gabbar Tax’ goes towards paying the pension of retired defence personnel and covering subsidies for the poor among other pro-citizen intiatives.

2:44pm: Targets Congress over calling GST a ‘Gabbar Tax’. “Is a legally implemented taxreform dacoity?” Amit Shah questions.

2:43pm: The BJP chief however conceded there will be teething problems in the GST implementation.

2:42pm: Due to GST, the country’s economy is going to improve. Look at the past –— We had 17 taxes, people had to show their accounts to 15 tax inspectors. Now there is just one tax and one tax inpsector: Shah

2:40pm: BJP never opposed the GST when the Congress was in power: Amit Shah says.

2:33pm: The BJP-led NDA has also changed the budget presentation to fit the country’s seasons, so that implementation happens at the required time, Shah says.

2:30pm: Have come up with a health card for soil – available in 14 languages – which has helped farmers, Shah tells the Upper house.

2:28pm: Shah says more than 5 crore farmers have signed up for the Bhima Yoajan.

2:27pm: Amit Shah also highlights the Modi government’s initiatives for farmers. Says the NDA has taken up the initiative to join rivers after they were discountinued post Atal Behari Vajpayee’s government.

2:26pm: ‘Garibi hatao’ slogan may have been raised years ago, but it was the Narendra Modi government that has moved towards it, Amit Shah says.

2:24pm: Government reduced prices of several medicines so that poor may benefit: BJP chief Amit Shah.

2:22pm: But along with electricity, issue of homes, toilet, gas, health, etc are linked. This government is working towards this, Shah says.

2:21pm: PM Modi ensured electricity in 16,000 villages of the 18,000 that didn’t have it when the BJP came to power in 2014, Amit Shah informs the house.

2:20pm: Opposition objects to Amit Shah’s comments. Rajya Sabha chairman M Venkaiah Naidu asks them to quieten down and counter him at the allotted time.

2:19pm: Amit Shah targets the Congress over unemployment saying the party had ruled the country for 55 years but couldn’t tackle the problem.

2:18pm: This government had the dream to give every citizen a house, says Shah.

2:10pm: Through the bank scheme 31 crore bank accounts were opened, says Shah.

2:09pm: Shah cites Jan Dhan Yojana as an example of the NDA’s success story.

2:08pm: It has been three years since this government has been in power. This government has done many things for the upliftment of the poor, has made many historic changes, says Amit Shah.

2:06pm: However, in 2014, Narendra Modi and the BJP won that mandate as people south a solution to the many problems. In spite of getting absolute majority, we (BJP) formed the NDA: Amit Shah tells the house.

2:05pm: Says for the past 30 years the country has been unstable, with citizens not giving any one party a majority: Shah

2:04pm: Amit Shah is addressing the house as a member for the first time. He is presenting the motion of thanks. Prime Minister Narendra Modi also present in house.

2pm: Rajya Sabha resumes session. BJP national president Amit Shah begins speaking in Hindi.

11:20am: Rajya Sabha adjourns till 2pm after Samajwadi Party protest over ‘Noida fake encounter’ issue.

11:18am: Lok Sabha adjourns for the day due to the death of sitting Kairana MP Hukum Singh.

11:10am: Three new Members of Parliament are sworn in. Karan Singh Yadav (Alwar), Raghu Sharma (Ajmer) and Sajda Ahmed (Uluberia) take oath in Lok Sabha.

11am: Lok Sabha session begins

First Published: Feb 05, 2018 11:06 IST